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Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Wednesday 9th February. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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PRESIDENT BIDEN ACKNOWLEDGES TESLA | REUTERS
– U.S. President Joe Biden publicly acknowledged the role of Tesla (TSLA.O) in U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing on Tuesday, after Chief Executive Elon Musk repeatedly complained about being ignored.
– Last month, Biden met with General Motors (GM.N) Chief Executive Mary Barra, and the White House has repeatedly praised the Detroit automaker’s electric vehicle efforts, even though it is selling far fewer EVs than Tesla.
– After Biden’s met with Barra in January and tweeted a video of the two talking, Musk replied “Starts with a T/Ends with an A/ESL in the middle” and then compared Biden to a “damp sock puppet.
– Asked in August whether the White House did not invite Musk because workers at Tesla are not unionized, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: “I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.”
VW CONSIDERS EV QUOTAS FOR DEALERSHIPS – ELECTRIVE.COM
– VW Group is reportedly reducing the ordering possibilities of its dealers and introducing a quota system for sales partners. Accordingly, larger dealers will be able to order more vehicles than smaller ones.
– According to dealers, customers are currently waiting around twelve months for an ID.3, while Volkswagen itself speaks of a delivery period of “more than nine months”. The situation is similar for the Audi Q4 e-tron, also built in Zwickau: those who order now will not receive the vehicle until mid-2023, and according to the manufacturer they will wait “around twelve months”.
– In other words, large dealers can order more ID.3 and ID.4 than smaller ones. With an annual target of the distributor of up to 999 vehicles, 15 ID.3 and 25 ID.4 can be ordered, the letter says.
FORD (F) Q4 2021 EARNINGS CALL TRANSCRIPT | THE MOTLEY FOOL
– . We are well on our way to achieve at least a 40% mix of BEVs by 2030, with strong margins and equal to our higher market share in the key high-profit, high-volume segments we compete. For example, the F-150 Lightning, if we had full production today to meet our current demand, we would rival the Model Y as the leading BEV nameplate in the U.S. market.
FORD CEO: WE WOULD RIVAL TESLA RIGHT NOW IF WE WERE PRODUCING ENOUGH ELECTRIC VEHICLES – ELECTREK
– This is kind of wild for people who have been following closely for a long time. Here Ford is basically saying “we would be selling as many EVs as Tesla if we were producing as many”. I would also be a billionaire if I had a billion dollars. But I think he is probably right. Ford could sell as many F-150 Lightning pickups as Tesla sells Model Ys in the US right now. And we are not talking about competing vehicles here since one is a small SUV and the other a pickup truck, but we are talking about popular BEVs.
TESLA CUT A STEERING COMPONENT TO DEAL WITH CHIP SHORTAGE | CNBC
– Under pressure to hit fourth-quarter sales goals while coping with widespread semiconductor shortages, Tesla decided to remove one of the two electronic control units that are normally included in the steering racks of some made-in-China Model 3 and Model Y cars, according to two employees and internal correspondence seen by CNBC.
– Tesla did not disclose the exclusion, which has already affected tens of thousands of vehicles being shipped to customers in China, Australia, the U.K., Germany and other parts of Europe.
– It also means Tesla can’t turn all its existing cars into driverless vehicles with a mere software update, undercutting what CEO Elon Musk recently said on an earnings call:“My personal guess is that we’ll achieve Full Self-Driving this year at a safety level significantly greater than a person. So the cars in the fleet essentially becoming self-driving via software update, I think, might end up being the biggest increase in asset value of any asset class in history. We shall see.”
– Tesla employees said that adding “level 3” functionality, which would allow a driver to use their Tesla hands-free without steering in normal driving scenarios, would need the dual electronic control unit system and therefore require a retrofit at a service visit.
– The specific item omitted is an electronic control unit in the electric power assisted steering systems, which translate steering wheel movements into wheel turns on the street.
– Tesla removed the component because engineers deemed it redundant, primarily installed as a backup. Omitting the control unit will also save Tesla money near-term, as long as no problems arise as a result of the altered system.
– When Tesla made the decision to exclude an electronic control unit from its steering racks, there was an internal discussion about whether to notify customers, two employees told CNBC.
– Tesla vehicles can still use the current “level 2” versions of its driver assistance systems, Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (or FSD), without the dual-control steering system.
– Most of the cars with the single electronic control unit were going to customers in China initially, where FSD is not seeing significant uptake. According to internal communications seen by CNBC, just over 1% of all Tesla customers in China opted for the premium driver assistance package
– Most automakers would spend 1,000 hours on testing or more to make any big changes, he estimated. That can take upwards of four months. It can also take years for quality or safety issues to become clear after changes are made.Tesla employees told CNBC that the company spent less than a few weeks discussing the change before moving ahead and didn’t view it as a big deal — more of a chip-famine survival tactic.
2022 TESLA MODEL Y: REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE MODEL UPDATED IN CHINA – DRIVE
– Tesla has revised its rear-drive Model Y SUV for 2022, with new features and a price increase – but a second and a half added to the 0-100km/h time.
– The entry-level, rear-wheel-drive 2022 Tesla Model Y has had its performance capabilities slashed in China, as part of an update
– Mirroring updates to the Model 3 sedan late last year, the ‘base’ Model Y – now known simply as the ‘Model Y’, replacing Tesla’s Standard Range badge – now claims a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 6.9 seconds, down one and a half seconds from the outgoing model’s 5.4-second claim.
– The Model 3 also had its performance reduced late last year – but its 0-100km/h time only rose by half a second (5.6 to 6.1 seconds), and was accompanied by a larger 62kWh battery
FRANZ VON HOLZHAUSEN PROVIDES UPDATE ON TESLA ROADSTER DEVELOPMENT – DRIVE TESLA
– During the product roadmap update at the Q4 2021 earnings call last month, CEO Elon Musk didn’t provide an update on the Roadster, leaving fans and customers, many of whom paid the full $250,000 sticker price up front, in the dark about the high performance sports car.
– However, in a recent episode of Spike’s Car Radio podcast, Tesla’s Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen gave new details on how development of the Roadster is progressing.
– “We’re working on the Roadster. I wish we were working faster, but I have to also say that in the time that we have been developing it, we have also been learning a lot, like Plaid is a great learning platform, that all those experiences will make its way back into a much better Roadster than had we launched right after when we debuted it. It will be an amazing, exciting flying machine,” he said.
– “No products can come fast enough from us for the public, but rest assured we are working on it feverishly.”
ALIBABA-BACKED AUTOX’S ROBOTAXI FLEET REACHES 1,000 VEHICLES – CNEVPOST
– Alibaba-backed self-driving startup AutoX announced today that it has reached the 1,000-vehicle Robotaxi fleet milestone and opened a new Robotaxi operations center in San Francisco.
– Reaching the 1,000 autonomous vehicles milestone is a groundbreaking moment for AutoX and the Robotaxi industry as the largest fleets were previously only in the hundreds, the company said
– Alphabet’s Waymo’s Robotaxi fleet has about 800 vehicles.
– On December 22 last year, the company announced the completion of a Robotaxi production line based on its latest-generation autonomous driving system, calling it the first dedicated Level 4 Robotaxi production facility in China.
EUROPE’S GRID CAN SUPPORT OVER 100 MILLION ELECTRIC VEHICLES, STUDY SAYS | E&T MAGAZINE
– Europe’s electricity grid is capable of supporting over 100 million electric vehicles, a study by EY-Eurelectric has found.
– the study also said that “timely planning” of charging infrastructure and coordination between public authorities, electricity utilities, grid and charge point operators will be necessary to prevent overloading the grid.
– The study explores several solutions to such challenges while ensuring that charge points are situated where they deliver maximum customer convenience.
– It also recommends integrating energy storage solutions into the charging infrastructure for situations when demand for rapid and high-power charging is heightened.
VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE HINTED AT BY COMPANY BOSS| WHICHCAR.COM.AU
– Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess was taking part in a Q&A session on Chinese social media platform Weibo last month when he confirmed the German car giant was considering bringing back the Beetle with electric power
– “I am very excited about the launch of the ID Buzz and, from this experience, learn how we can bring our traditional and emotional world to the electric vehicle sector, thinking of the Beetle,” Diess said, according to a report from Spanish news website Hybrids and Electrics.
– In July 2020, Volkswagen also registered the trademarks e-Karmann, e-Kübel, e-Golf Classic, and e-Beetle with the European Union.
Original Source : https://www.whichcar.com.au/news/electric-volkswagen-beetle-hinted
BMW I4 IS THE FIRST MODEL TO GET SOFTWARE UPDATE FOR IDRIVE 8 | BMW BLOG
– Although the BMW i4 entered production a few months ago, the electric gran coupe is already receiving a software update. It’s the company’s first model to benefit from an upgraded iDrive 8 as the iX and 2 Series Active Tourer will likely follow suit. Officially known as the 21-11-550 Software Version, the latest operating system unlocks the Personal eSim functionality.
– In addition, it strengthens the mobile phone signal by using the car’s external antenna. For the time being, the new tech is only available in Germany, Japan, and the United States.
– A more significant novelty brought by the new software update is a smarter Lane Departure Warning system. The car knows when the driver wants to return to the original lane after passing a vehicle on country roads and highways. In other words, the BMW i4 will not issue a lane departure warning or pull the steering wheel to put the car back in its original lane.
– BMW explains the slower you leave the lane, the smoother the intervention will be.
Original Source : https://www.bmwblog.com/2022/02/07/bmw-i4-software-update-idrive-8/
BRITISH ELECTRIC VAN MAKER ARRIVAL PREPARES FOR UNCONVENTIONAL US DEBUT| CITYAM
– British electric van maker Arrival is preparing for its US debut, choosing Charlotte, North Carolina, as its US headquarter. The company’s new offices are set to be inaugurated next month, while production facilities – one for vans in Charlotte and one for buses in South Carolina – will open later this year.
– According to Mike Ableson, head of Arrival’s automotive division, while the market is becoming saturated with luxury electric vehicles (EV), vans and buses can still offer commercial opportunities.
– “When I joined Arrival about two and a half years ago nobody was too excited about electric last-mile delivery vans. Yet now they seem to be all the rage.”
M180 ‘EHIGHWAY’ TRIAL: JOBS BOOST HOPE OVER ELECTRIFIED M-WAY SCHEME – BBC NEWS
– A trial of the UK’s first “eHighway” could lead to “new technology and new jobs”, according to a consortium researching sustainable travel.
– It would see electric Heavy Goods Vehicles recharging while travelling along motorways using overhead wires.
– If the study opens the way to a pilot scheme, about 19 miles (30km) of the M180 could be electrified for HGVs.
– Overhead lines like rail technology could be used on motorways to try and reduce emissions.
– The nine-month feasibility study in North East Lincolnshire into whether the dynamic charging technology is ready for use on the UK’s roads is being undertaken by a consortium including Costain, Siemens, Scania, several universities and other businesses.
Original Source : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-60286985
US ELECTRIC CAR PRICES: CHEAPEST TO MOST EXPENSIVE | INSIDEEVS
– The Nissan LEAF remains the least expensive electric car on the market (thanks to the MSRP price reduction in August). The entry-level version with a 40 kWh battery and 110 kW electric motor is offered at an MSRP of $27,400 (+$975 DST), which effectively is $20,875 (thanks to the full $7,500 federal tax credit).
– Then we can see the MINI Cooper SE (effectively $23,250), but it’s a niche vehicle with only 114 miles of range (183 km). The LEAF e+ version with a 62 kWh battery and 160 kW motor (+$5,000 over the base LEAF) completes the top three of the cheapest EVs. With 226 miles (364 km) of EPA range, it’s the cheapest BEV with more than 200 miles of range.
– Among the most expensive BEVs, we can see the Porsche Taycan family, Tesla Model S Plaid/Model X Plaid and Lucid Air family and Audi RS e-tron GT. All beyond $120,000 effectively.
Original Source : https://insideevs.com/news/565883/electric-car-prices-us-20220207/
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